Tuesday, June 28, 2011

#KumuCulturalInSingapore2011: The MINT Museum of Toys

I'd like to believe that my recent trips to Singapore were entirely made possible by the Internet. For one, I bought my tickets online. Who doesn't anyway nowadays?

Then, to get around, I totally (like to'lly) GoThere.SG-ed my route and commuting tracks (I only missed my stop once!).

And then I Google-ed all the malls I have to hit once I got there. I developed a new skill and gained fake notoriety for being the Singapore Bargain Shopper (self-imposed title) overnight that I even wrote an article about it.

But more than surfing the Web for shopping ideas and good deals, my best find on the internet was not an item to purchase but a destination. And in theme with my #KumuCulturalInSingapore2011, I decided to hit museums this time around. I'm really not interested in art or history museums, so after some researchin' around the Web, I decided to go to The Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys (MINT) Museum.

Holy Tan, Batman!

(The rest of the entry is image heavy. But who's still on dial up anyway?)
MINT Museum of Toys is actually a private collection of one Singaporean toy hobbyist, whose toys were curated and housed in the MINT museum which was opened to the public in 2007. According to the website

".. [It is an] extensive collection of vintage toys, including rare and unique one-of-a-kind pieces. It is considered to be the largest collection of its kind within Southeast Asia, with more than 50,000 pieces of vintage toys and childhood memorabilia, ranging from the mid-19th century to mid-20th Century."
Imagine amassing 50,000 toys in your lifetime! Well, you don't have to if you've been to The MINT Museum of toys. The entire collection is worth S$5,000,000 or approximately PH 175,435,740!

It was an interesting mix of robots, character toys, superheroes (and villains), and different collections of toys from different countries. I am not much of a toy enthusiast myself (I was deprived as a kid), but it was a treat to be surrounded with all those characters from my childhood.

It was also worth noting that my friend Zhorai, who grew up Laking Aircon and lived in an entirely different side of the spectrum, and I have different experiences with toys while we were growing up.

I knew what Daleks are because I grew up with a sci-fi geek of a father; she doesn't. I knew Snoopy because of the McDonald Happy Meals back in 90s; Zhorai actually read the comics. Parang Guess the Geek/Mahirap lang yung nangyari.

Here are some interesting photos from MINT Museum!

Heroes and Villains

Fatman and Blobbin

Dan Danger Thimbles. For every kid's sewing needs.

Darth Maul life-size replica.
And the Star Wars geeks go wild.
Also, an ode to the now defunct Mirror Project.

Bruce Lee punching dolls!

 A Superman string holder!
I dunno what kids those days have with string holders, but let's start counting how many were there in the museum, shall we?

Tin robots that my friend Mark will definitely enjoy! Check out that rightmost robot's estimated value.

I guess it's a hand puppet? Kids, this is how you use your imagination.

Astroboy's sister, er, Astrogirl!

And its live action trading cards!

Character Toys

I'm strong to the finish coz I eat my spinach with salt and pepper.

 Whimpy and some green guy string holders.
String holder count =3

Woody Woodpecker string holder.
String holder count = 4

Dennis the Menace dolls and a Mighty Mouse paddle!
I bet kids these days don't even know who these are.

Donald Duck's predecessors.

And a dead one that was laid to rest.

Their Barbie collection was dismal, and I made it known through their guest book XD

String holder count =5

With WWII and the Holocaust, kids of yore scare very little.
Felix the Cat prototypes.

Sounds wrong. So wrong.

String holder count = too many to mention.

A Shirley Temple string holder.
Are you still counting?

I don't know what kid would be interested in Charlie Chaplin toys.

The plagiarized Lion King - Kimba the White Lion - in a spaceship!

What a downer!

Why anyone would make a character about a friendly ghost baffles me.

The Flintstones!

Zhorai was very happy to find an old friend.

Toys from around the world and collectibles

Everyone's a little bit racist.
Used-to-be-socially-acceptable toys in the 50s called Golliwogs.

A collection of tin cans

And Tin Tin!

Speaking of tin, check out those tin lunchboxes!

Zhorai's pick

My pick

Aaand a remote-controlled tin peacock.

A doll, which I suspect, that is supposed to take your soul and never give it back.

Mr. Bean's Teddy is part of the teddy bear collection. Cute!

Traditional Chinese dolls. Equally as creepy.

It takes very little to amuse kids back then.

A Japanese folk toy that I find soo kawaii! Z said every Sony office in Japan usually has one of these.

I really like these toys the best. Very simple and sweet.

Probably because Singapore was a British colony? I really dunno.

The Beatles Comb Collection: a must have for every fan.


And more string holders!

Zhorai in front of the supposedly award-winning building that housed MINT (wasn't that impressed actually).

As I've said, I really was a deprived kid when it comes to toys. My parents never bought us a lot save for one Barbie for me; a toy train, a laser gun, and a dinosaur replica for my brother; and a tub of Lego that my brother and I would sit down with for an entire Saturday afternoon, building pyramids. MINT was a grim reminder of how much I missed out as a kid. 

MINT really is for adults more than kids. Do drop by if you're a little kid trapped inside a grown man's body.

I, on the other hand, was just an old lady stuck in this 26-year-old body.

MINT Museum of Toys
Opening Hours
9:30am to 6:60pm daily

26 Seah Street
Singapore 188382

Tel: +65 63390660
Fax: +65 63343373

Visit www.emint.com for admission prices

Because I took too many photos of MINT Museum, get the uncut commentary on my tumblr! MEHGAHNUN.


rc helicopter said...

I have never seen, in fact never heard about this museum before. This is one of the best place for them who love to play with toys. I have never once seen so much toys such as. This is really very informative article, thanks for sharing mate. 

rc boot said...

Awesome, I have never once seen so much toys such as, really great shots dude. In them I liked that teddy bear collection the most, and I will definitely go there and buy some toys.

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